VA celebrates national Patient Ambassador Day

Facilities across the country recognize volunteers


VA celebrates national Patient Ambassador Day Wednesday, Nov. 29 to recognize Red Coat Patient Ambassadors and volunteers across the country who go the extra mile to make a good first impression when Veterans visit a VA facility.

Red Coat Ambassadors wear a highly visible red coat or vest and greet Veterans and escort visitors and family members. They provide a personal, yet standardized VA experience that includes assistance with navigation, helpful information and the necessary support to make their visit to VA not only successful, but also pleasant.

Red Coat Ambassadors greet and escort visitors and patients, offer information and directions, provide a listening ear and help find solutions to their concerns.

You can be a Red Coat Ambassador

Each of the facilities participating in Patient Ambassador Day will be conducting local recognition initiatives. Individuals who love helping others, have a positive personality, are able to navigate the VA campus and able to manage conflicts respectfully should attend Patient Ambassador Day or contact their local VA Voluntary Service Office for more information on how to get involved.

Everyone can support the program by sharing information about the program with Veterans who may benefit and individuals who may want to volunteer.

These are just a few examples of what you can expect at many facilities across the country during Patient Ambassador Day:

  • Display tables in the front lobby with information on the Red Coat/Patient Ambassador Program and ways to sign up/register to support program
  • Medical Center leadership will greet and take pictures with the Patient Ambassadors and volunteers in front of the VA Medical Center entrance at 9:00 a.m. (times may vary).
  • Appreciation breakfast or event at some facilities (coffee, pastries, doughnuts, canteen coupons/certificates).
  • Sharing of pictures of volunteers and Veterans on local social media sites using the hashtag #VAPatientAmbassadorDay

We hope to see you on #VAPatientAmbassadorDay and if you can’t make it we hope you consider becoming a Red Coat!

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Tim Hudak

  joined the VA in December 2013 and is on the Veterans Experience Office team. Tim, a Chicago-land native enlisted in the Marine Corps straight out of high school. As an intelligence analyst he deployed to Al Anbar province, Iraq with Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 363 in 2006 and 2008. After the Marine Corps, Tim used the GI Bill to earn a degree in Intelligence Studies from Mercyhurst University in Erie, Pa., and co-founded the university’s first student Veteran organization. Tim is active in many Veteran organizations.